Edited by Dawn R. DeTienne and Karl Wennberg
Chapter 8: Psychological barriers and coping strategies in business transfers explored: towards a conceptual model
Entrepreneurship can be stressful and rewarding at the same time, especially in the case of business transfers. As Minor (2003: 11) states, ‘Finally, remember one inviolate truth: eventually, every owner leaves his business. The question is, will you leave feet first on a stretcher or will you sip champagne in celebration of your victory?’ This is a typical ‘description of an entrepreneur ‘dying in the saddle’. Losing a firm or detaching oneself from a business can often be an extraordinary event (Tajani and Hahn, 2012). It can be considered a highly emotional event (Jenkins et al., 2014) and most business owners find it difficult to let go (see, for example, Kets de Vries, 2003; Salvato et al., 2010; Sharma and Manikutty, 2005; and Wennberg et al., 2010), most of all because the occasion will most likely take place only once in a lifetime (Tajani and Hahn, 2012). It is well known that the success rate of business transfers is low (Carr and Elton, 2005; Hussey, 1999; Makhlouk and Shevchuk, 2008; Nordqvist et al., 2013; Schenk, 2002; Selden and Colvin, 2003). Van Teeffelen (2012a) reviews the main challenges that sellers face in business transfers. Emotional and psychological aspects are among the most-mentioned causes for business transfer failure in the literature.
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